Posts Tagged ‘Evinda Lepins Coffee Hour’

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you could join us for a few minutes and a Monday’s Mantra to encourage your soul! Come on in and join us for a conversation about time management and prioritizing our time and we are still on the parable of The Good Samaritan as taught in Luke 10.

“We each have 24 hours in a given day; how we choose to spend each moment determines how spent we are”! EL

Let’s face it; one of the top objections, aka excuses, for not neighboring, let alone being mindful of others is time…because we’re just too busy. So let’s sit here for just a bit. We need to have the eyes of our heart opened. But that can’t happen while we’re on the run! When you open up your eyes in the morning, what’s the first thing you do? Do you check social media or do you check in with God?   

I love what Jullien Gordon, a millennial (Generation Y) expert says about this topic of “busy.” she distinguishes between a workaholic and a high performer by saying the workaholic or the busy person wants to look more important while the high performer looks for important work! 

In other words, when we’re busy being busy, we miss opportunities to neighbor because we don’t even recognize them. We’ve got to take the time to make the time, just like the Samaritan did!

Ephesians 5:15-17 suggests to us to “be careful how you live,” in other words, be mindful of how we invest our time.  But how do we stop being so busy at being busy? Could it be that our priorities are a bit out of alignment because of the way we begin our day? As I rewind the clock of my spiritual journey, I can honestly say that I am most productive when I get plugged into my source of energy first thing in the morning, or the rest of the day seems to go awry. 

Psalm 90:14 says it perfectly: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” Have you ever tried to eat a meal while on the run? I can’t help but giggle when I get that picture. We can’t sit and soak in His steadfast love if we don’t sit…and just be!

Oh, I can hear you now…but I have no time in the morning to meet with Him…oh, Coffee Hour Friend, you can’t afford not to because the crazy thing is, if/when you put Him first in  your day, He will multiply your productivity! Does a car run with no gas, or oil, or water? Does a light turn on without being plugged in to its source of power? Well, we are called to be lights…plug in first thing and see what happens!

Love,

Evinda

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Monday’s Mantra

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Up and Out!


Thanks so much for joining us for Coffeehour @ chicklitpower and Trench Classes United! Welcome to Monday’s Mantra. Grab your coffee, or your favorite break time beverage and your Strand of Faith and let’s go tie some knots as we wrap up “How to neighbor” with the final words of verse 35: and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.” For those who are new to this series, we are talking about the parable of The Good Samaritan and all the principles we can learn to live by from these few verses in Luke 10.

When the Samaritan left, it wasn’t like he had a cell phone and could call the innkeeper and have any balance sent to him by snail mail! Oh, how I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to listen and watch this conversation take place. Not much detail is given about their conversation but it is safe to presume that the innkeeper agreed because the Samaritan leaves with the promise of returning. 

That brings us to the final characteristic of how to neighbor who we neighbor, which is almost exactly the same as what starts the process: Keeping our eyes open. It’s a form of focus, if you will. It rings in this truth: when we are about His business, He’s taking care of our business, as promised in Matthew 6:33.

Proverbs 16:3 tells us to commit our work to the Lord, and our thoughts will be established. Wow, so few words that pack such a powerful punch. In other words, we don’t have to chase our tails and go around and around the same mountain, but if we turn our focus upwards, He will lead us onward! The moment we take our focus off of our Guide, we begin to walk sort of caddy-wampus, at least I do.  

The other day, as I was riding one of the longest escalators in L.A., I looked up to the tall, and taller and tallest buildings, breathed a big sigh of contentment and asked, “What do you have for me today, Lord?” And within two hours He showed me. I had not one, but two divine appointments. 

Take a moment and ask yourself: What are two things that get in my way of keeping my eyes open to the needs of others around you? Go ahead, be honest; no one’s going to judge you! 

So how do we do avoid the distractions, or set aside those things which concern us to be more available to neighbor? I think it begins with understanding that we don’t have to do it alone. We have been promised a Helper. In John 14:26, Jesus tells the disciples – and you and I are part of that crowd, that He will send the helper, the Holy Spirit to teach us all things. What a comfort! 

All we have to do is resolve in our hearts to acknowledge and accept that help; in other words, live like He’s alive in us. The word root for resolve is “reso” and the Greek translation defines it like this: “to partner with the Holy Spirit”! I don’t know about you but I find that affirming and confirming and comforting. 

Oh, what would our worlds look like if we lived like HE is alive in us?

Love,

Evinda

kim L

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Heart Service, Not Lip Service!


Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklitpower and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you could join us today for a little break, a little something from my heart to yours! Let’s get back to Luke 10 and the parable of the Good Samaritan.

So we’ve been sitting in verses 33 and 34 for a few Mondays and have discovered five characteristics that model how to neighbor. Today, we will look at the sixth one. In verse 35, Jesus tells us that when the Samaritan departed the next day, “…he took out two denari, gave them to the innkeeper and said to him, ‘Take care of him”…. 

It’s interesting that Jesus uses the story of the good but despised Samaritan to make clear to us how we should neighbor who we neighbor. The more I read into this parable, the more I see that Jesus looks at the heart; it’s all about the attitude of the heart. Did you know that a denari was the equivalent of a day’s wage for the Samaritan? The Samaritan left the innkeeper with two days’ wages and didn’t even flinch! Jesus asks that whatever we do or give, to do and give freely. In other words, we need to check our attitudes which flow from the heart. Let’s look at the attitudes of the other people involved in this parable:

The lawyer actually treated the wounded man as a subject to discuss and debate, perhaps with the thought of even tricking Jesus. Now, let’s bring this closer to us: How many of us sit around talking about the needs of others without doing something about it? This is lip service, not heart service! Isaiah 29:13 talks about this: “Therefore the Lord said, ‘Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward me is taught by the commandment of men’”… The Lord has the video camera into every crevice of our heart!

The thieves harmed and wounded the man, treated him as someone to use and exploit. We should never use someone’s loss for our gain in any way; in other words, when someone is down, do we take advantage? Or when/if we help someone who is down, what is our motive? Another motive that can be kind of sticky is pity: When we help our less-fortunate neighbor, we need to do so with a sense of respect. Respect Jesus style isn’t earned: It’s letting someone be who they are right where they are! We need to remember to do a heart check! Philippians 2:3 reminds us of this very thing: “Let nothing be done of selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” 

The priest and the Levite, aka, the religious ones, treated him as if he weren’t even there, a potential problem that they didn’t want to involve themselves with or in. Oh, how true it is that the church is really a hospital and all of us its patients! Shouldn’t we be asking Jesus to help us see what He sees, how He sees when He sees? When we come upon our neighbor, if we don’t make the time to take the time to learn, to listen and to remember, have we really neighbored? 

And then there is the innkeeper who gets to serve for a fee. Does it always have to be about payment?  To do something without the expectation of payment is a dual blessing, and often it’s difficult to distinguish who gets blessed more, the giver or the receiver. Acts 20:35 reminds us of Jesus’ words; that it is more blessed than to receive.

Oh, how blessed I am to know that though I have demonstrated each and every one of these attitudes, I, just like these in the parable am not condemned but a work in progress as I strive to be a better neighbor, a better representative of Christ!

Happy neighboring, friend.

Evinda

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Monday’s Mantra

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Going the Extra Mile


Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United! I’m so humbled to have you join me for a cup of encouragement in the journey of life which is full of opportunities to be a good neighbor as He puts people in our lives for a reason, and for a season. Some seasons are longer than others, and some are so quick that one must be prepared and ready to show kindness, listen, sacrifice and humbly! Today being Halloween is a perfect opportunity to practice some of these neighboring principles! Come on; grab whatever you’re having and don’t forget your Red Strand of Faith as my prayer is that what you read today will tie another knot in your faith.

Have you ever not done something and even found good cause to justify not doing so…and then shortly thereafter felt a little nudge tugging on your heart?  Oh, I have, and too many times to count.  Everywhere we look there are obvious and not-so-obvious needs needing to be met, brokenness needing mending, dysfunction needing education and guidance; in other words, there are plenty of opportunities to be His hands and His feet, to friends, strangers and enemies!

Let’s look at this next piece of this verse 34 in Luke 10 which reveals the Samaritan’s commitment as it relates to this parable. He has already done what most of us would deem plenty – he saw him; his compassion moved him into action of cleaning his wounds; thereafter, he put him up on his own animal, which meant he probably walked to the inn with his eyes on the beaten man while pulling his animal and then he “took care of him.” In verse 35, we read the words: “On the next day when he departed,” which tells us he stayed the night with him!

To many of us, this is a big stretch, a sort of stock in Spandex kind of stretch! ☺ But, really what it is, is the “extra” in “extraordinary”; the extra mile. Did you know that phrase “the extra mile” actually comes from the Bible? See, according to the law, the Roman soldiers could force a Jewish boy or man to carry their packs or burdens for up to one mile. This was a law! And by the way, their mile was just a tad short of the equivalent of our mile. I don’t know about you, but walking a mile requires some energy; I can’t imagine carrying something too!

Galatians 6:2 tells us that bearing one another’s burdens is fulfilling the law of Christ! And yet…we hesitate. Maybe instead of concentrating on excusing why we don’t, let’s look at why we should:

So why would we want to go the extra mile? Well, an easy answer would be “because Jesus says so!” But let’s dig a little deeper. When Jesus spoke the words “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two” in Matthew 5:41, this was contra-culture; in other words, this statement was offensive to the Jews of Jesus’ day because a Messiah wouldn’t subject himself to such humility for a myriad of reasons…many of those reasons are still with us in our own culture today.  Why do you believe Jesus requires a “second mile”? Did you know that there are those in the church that desperately need someone to go the extra mile for them? And we don’t have to walk very far outside the doors of our place of worship to see that same reality.

It’s easy to love those who love us, to like those who like us. This is the equivalent of going that first mile, and if we’re honest with ourselves, many of us do this out of a sense of duty and/or love. But when it comes to a neighbor, a stranger and even an enemy, well, this is the opportunity to go the second mile or the extra mile. It is in this second mile that others are able to see firsthand the level of our commitment and our love for Jesus. Do you believe that if more of us consistently went that second mile, the church would experience a significant shift! Why? The second mile is the trial mile, and we all know that trials grow our faith, and make us more like Jesus!

Can I encourage you this week to be on the lookout for your invitation to go the second mile.

Love,

Evinda

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Monday’s Mantra

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Humility=Thinking of Yourself Less


Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you chose to take the time to make the time to join us for a cup of encouragement in the faith journey! Grab whatever you’re having for your break, and don’t forget your Red Strand of Faith because my hope is that you will be able to tie a few knots in it as things written from my heart reach yours.

So far in this series about neighboring, we’ve talked about compassion, which moves us into action, and the fact that anyone who crosses our path is our neighbor in that moment, and about the gift of listening to our neighbor and then of course the sacrifice it requires to stop in the moment and be a good neighbor. Today I’d like to talk about something that actually goes hand in hand with sacrifice and let me start out with this quote from C.S. Lewis: “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less”! Isn’t that a good one?!

The next thing that the Samaritan did to love/serve his neighbor after he had bandaged him, or cleaned up his wounds with oil and wine, was to then “set him on his own animal”! (Emphasis own added)

It’s important to remember the historical backdrop: The Samaritans were known as “half-breeds,” half Jewish and half Gentile, and because of their idol-worshipping, were despised even more than the Roman conquerors. They were labeled as “unclean,” which is why Jesus uses him as an example for this parable; he was the least likely to help his Jewish neighbor for the Samaritans’ hate for the Jews ran as deep as the Jews’ hate for the Samaritans!

So what would our homes, neighborhoods and communities look like if we were to lay aside culture, social and economic backgrounds, or the whole popularity issue, private and public prejudices? What if we just reached out and treated any of these, aka, our neighbor as a creation of Christ? How is it that we deny ourselves the propensity of labeling others less fortunate than ourselves in a negative light, or deny the habit of ignoring the homeless, or humbly run to instead of run from the addict, the alcoholic, or stereo-typing the more obviously wounded, or the mentally challenged, the frail elderly? What if we were to bring them near to us, just as the Samaritan put this guy on his own animal?

The Samaritan’s eyes remained opened; he listened to his heart which moved him to continue to show compassion. He could have left him there after cleaning his wounds, but he didn’t. He sacrificed his own agenda, delayed his journey and re-routed his course, and at his own expense of his own resources: time, money. He humbled himself and put the guy’s needs ahead of his own, dared to associate himself with him, bee seen with him by putting him up on his own animal. Here’s something else to ponder: I wonder if by the time the Samaritan puts him up on his horse if the guy was coherent enough to recognize the help he was receiving. Remember by the time the Samaritan reached him, he was “half dead.”

Let’s exchange “half-dead” for our lowest point or points in life, when trials and tragedies really have us shaken, when our needs feel greater than our faith. Have you ever been in such a position? Do you know anyone right now who could use someone to bring them close?  This verse goes on to say that the Samaritan takes him to a safe place! The first place I think of when I think of a safe place is the church! When is the last time you reached out to invite anyone to a safe place, let alone a hurting neighbor? Isn’t the church a hospital for the wounded and sick?

What makes us different from that man in the road? Could it be the safe place we call church?

Humbly

Evinda

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Monday’s Mantra

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Sacrifice, a Door to Wisdom


Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United! I’m so glad you could join us today for a little break! Grab your favorite beverage, your Strand of Faith and if you can, your Bible. We’re going to have a little fun today with the word sac·ri·fice!

When you see that word, what’s your first thought? Is it a positive thought or a negative thought?  This three-syllable word is definitely  a huge part of being a Christian but I know it causes some of us to cringe, kind of like the word submit, or confess…I can think of a few other words that bring refinement for our hearts and walks as Christians, but let’s stay on track. I found this really cool quote by one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis: “No great wisdom can be reached without sacrifice.”  So let’s see what this has to do with our learning how to neighbor those we come into contact with by returning to the story of The Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.

The next thing we read that the Samaritan did for his neighbor is he poured oil and wine on him. Now you might be thinking, oil and wine, sounds like a salad dressing! ☺ Believe it or not, there is some great significance in these two elements but let’s discuss first the sacrifices we see here. Grab your shovels and let’s do some digging.

We’ve all heard it said that if you want something done, ask a busy person; however, many of us may lean on the crutch of being too busy to stop and minister to our neighbor. But if the eyes of our heart are truly opened, compassion will send us into action, and action often requires a sacrifice.

The Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines sacrifice as: “the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.” What makes a sacrifice a true sacrifice is the cost and I don’t mean just monetarily!

What makes this sacrifice so sacrificial is the cost! It went against culture, against common sense and core beliefs!

Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone’s sacrifice? Have you ever been the one to sacrifice something? Keep in mind, a sacrifice doesn’t have to have a monetary value at all! Let’s look at the Samaritan’s sacrifices. The first sacrifice we see demonstrated here is the sacrifice of time, which we will get more in-depth in our upcoming Mondays. The next sacrifice we see is the Samaritan giving of his supply of oil and wine. Who knows how long the Samaritan had to go to get to his final destination, but this verse makes it clear: he didn’t even stop to think about it; he was moved into action and began doing the next thing, cleaning the wound…for a potential enemy!

Here’s an important truth to take with us in this parable and in our mantra to neighbor: We can’t give what we haven’t received!  Now let’s figure out what significance the oil and wine play in this parable as well as in our own lives. There are literally hundreds of scripture references with an incredible amount of spiritual significance about wine and oil in both the Old and New Testament. It was a common practice to clean wounds with oil and wine. The two most common symbolisms are the thread from the Old to the New and they are analogous to these things: The oil is representative of new life, in other words, our new life in Christ, which is now fit for…the wine, which is analogous to the Holy Spirit. Both of these ingredients, if you will, are essential to the exercise of loving our neighbor. We cannot love or serve our neighbor the way we are called to without being in Christ and prompted by His Spirit.

Romans 12:1 tells us we are to be living sacrifices. What does being a “living sacrifice” look like to you? I can tell you what it doesn’t look like: The walking dead! We are more alive when we are open to divine opportunities to neighbor, because it means we aren’t just living by our own agenda.

Each of us has certain talents and gifts that we are to offer up as a sacrifice unto others. This is the pouring out of the oil and the wine! Pray for opportunities to exercise a sacrifice this week.

I encourage you to dig a little deeper into this subject and read Isaiah 1:11-17; Matthew 25:14-29

Learning how to sacrifice what to sacrifice!

Evinda

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Thanks for joining us for Monday’s Mantra and our “neighboring” series. Grab your favorite beverage and come on in for a few minutes away from any distractions!

Today is a special day: the birthday of someone who was once a stranger, someone who I dared to neighbor almost twelve years ago! Oh, how she’s taught me the value of neighboring for we never know what stranger will become one of our dearest friends…and she also taught me the value of this one principle we will talk a bit about today: Listening! So happy birthday, Janine Peace!

Let’s get back to this parable Jesus uses to teach us so many things about neighboring. In this parable we see five things that the Samaritan did for the wounded man all done because of the compassion that moved him. In Luke 10:34 we read that the Samaritan went to him (moved by compassion). 34”So he went to him and bandaged his wounds”… Let’s stop right there and talk about the physical and spiritual significance to this second act, bandaging his wounds. Now, I know we don’t all carry around a first-aid kit, though the Samaritan apparently did. So let’s take this to a deeper level and exchange “bandage” for a different type of bandage, in other words, something that makes a wound better.

Maybe our neighbor isn’t lying in the middle of the street bleeding, literally, exposing his or her wounds. However, we have all experienced in some form or fashion running into, or being connected to someone who is hurting…on the inside.  What do we do when someone dares to share their story? The greatest bandage we could ever use is the gift of listening.

We cannot learn our neighbor’s story if we do not listen; we cannot remember one thing about their story without compassionately listening, and we cannot learn something about them if we are not listening with our hearts, not just our ears. The word “listen” is in the Word of God only once and it’s in the O.T.; however, “hear,” and all of its forms, is used over 500 times! We have one mouth and two ears; we’d do well to speak less and listen more. I love what the Hebrew translation says about listening:”to hear intelligently” – in other words, using all senses — …”often with the implication of attention and obedience”! So, listening produces obedience!

Picture yourself before you came to accept the reality of the necessity of Jesus into your life. Would you consider yourself as someone who had been robbed in some way by the enemy? In what way or ways were you robbed and what were you stripped of?  Who played the Good Samaritan in your life? In other words, who encouraged you, listened to you, helped you with your wounds?

Let’s switch the characters in the parable here to bring this closer to home: The Good Samaritan is Jesus, the one who binds up our wounds and we are that man in the road, stripped, beaten and wounded. Psalm 147:3 tells us that HE heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. How has Jesus bound up your wounds?

When we remember where we came from, and the compassion given to us, we are better-equipped to help bandage by listening to our wounded neighbor. Who can you practice the art of listening to today?

Listening…

Evinda

kim L

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Open Your Eyes


Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United! I’m thrilled you took the time to join us for a little break and for our Monday’s Mantra, which for the last several weeks, and several weeks to come is focusing on the art of neighboring, meaning being His hand and feet to those who cross our path! Grab your coffee, or your favorite beverage, your Strand of Faith and let’s go tie some knots as we talk about the first principle to good neighboring!

We’ve talked about many characters in the parable of Luke 10:25-37, so now let’s look closely at the Samaritan and what he did for his neighbor in verses 33-36 even though he was the least likely voted to succeed in this endeavor!

He, like the Priest and the Levite, saw the wounded man with his eyes…but when the Samaritan saw him he was filled with compassion, “so he went to him.” Let’s pause here from a second on the keyword “compassion.” This word translated in the Greek means “to be moved inwardly, to be moved with compassion.” In other words, compassion moves us into action. To be moved in such a way, might we first need to have the eyes of our hearts open? In other words, if we were in the parable today, how many of us would walk right by the wounded man and not even see him?

I know when I think of some reasons, aka, excuses for not seeing the nearly dead man in the road, or the homeless guy, or the prostitute on the street who didn’t really want to be a prostitute or the drunken guy on a bench, or someone less fortunate than myself – you get the picture? – would be because perhaps I’m too focused on my own agenda, or maybe I don’t want to bother or be bothered! Perhaps the eyes of our heart need to be opened! In Ephesians 1:17-21 we read that The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is our same God, through His Spirit will open the eyes of our hearts and grant us wisdom, revelation that we may know what is the hope of His calling and the riches of His glory and exceeding greatness of His power! Now that’s some eye-opening promise.

I absolutely love what C.S. Lewis says about neighboring: “You are told to love our neighbor as yourself. How do you love yourself? Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.

When the eyes of our hearts are truly opened, we can’t help but be moved forward. True compassion doesn’t discriminate; it reaches across all cultures and moves across all religious beliefs. Compassion has no enemies; nor does it have boundaries! Could our first step to true neighboring be praying for compassion, that the yes of our hearts would be open to see? Love is born out of compassion that leads us to desire our neighbor’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained!

Learning to neighbor,

Evinda

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Monday’s Mantra

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Doing the Right thing the Wrong Way!


Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and TCU (Trench Classes United)! I’m so glad you could join us for some neighboring mantras that will surely spread a message of hope to you and your neighbor(s), friends and strangers too! Grab your favorite beverage and your strand of faith and let’s go tie some more knots together based on Luke 10:25-37.

So we talked about the priest that passed by the other side of the injured man left for dead; let’s now push the pause button on the Levite, the other guy that passed by on the other side, just like the priest. Here’s a couple of facts to help us bring this story closer to home within our own neighborhoods:
Levites assisted  the priests in their duties and they were very well-versed in the law because of their role in the temple, which was quite a big role.  They lived life by the book or the law and to break the law was to invite disassociation and rejection upon them. The Levites were no different than us: they wanted approval and acceptance and oftentimes they would compromise in order to get those God-given desires. Haven’t you? I know I have!

Understanding the laws that these guys were bound to, and knowing that law often overrode morality as we know, understand and practice morality, or try to, it’s a bit easier to understand why the Levite passed by on the other side, just like the priest did.  So now that we can quit finger-pointing, let’s talk about the reality of following the leader and compromise. See, there comes a point when following the leader can lead to a form of compromising one’s values and beliefs; this is known as rigidity! Another way to put it is doing the right thing the wrong way? He was trying to do the right thing but it was the wrong way, and compromised the heart issue of any law!

See, it comes down to what’s in the heart. Paul talks about this very issue in 1st Corinthians 9:19-23, wherein he was able to be all to all without compromising his beliefs and his relationship with Christ. He wasn’t a lawmaker or a lawbreaker; his heart was for their heart to know his God.

Have you ever gone about doing something you knew to be right but you did it not so right? I can give you lots of examples in my own life but let me give you just a couple: How many times have I parented the wrong way but with the right motive? Or how many times have I interfered in a matter via opinion or unsolicited advice with the greater good in mind, of course, but only made it worse? These are examples of doing the right thing the wrong way.

So let’s get back to this Levite in the parable of The Good Samaritan: He was a lawmaker, not a lawbreaker; his heart was to please his boss, not His Savior. Haven’t we all dodged a bullet for the sake of self, to make ourselves look good, upright and righteous?

May I challenge you that when an opportunity comes to neighbor a stranger, don’t walk on the other side of the street for the sake of culture, rules or to avoid embarrassment or even to fit in and get acceptance; consider doing the right thing the right way; it’s a matter of the heart!

Love,

Evinda

kim L

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Things are Never as they Seem!

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and TCU (Trench Classes United)! I’m so glad you could join us for some neighboring mantras that will surely spread a message of hope to you and your neighbor(s), friends and strangers too! Grab your favorite beverage and your strand of faith and let’s go tie some more knots together.


Come with me to Luke 10:25-37.

The story begins with this question: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” to which Jesus answered with a question! I don’t know about you, but when I ask a question, I want an answer, not another question! But…this is a big one…Jesus had His reasons, as He always does, for responding with a question. And what’s really telling is Jesus truly wanted the lawyer’s opinion of his reading of the law.  We could spend quite a bit of time on this one principle of engaging with our ears to really have meaningful conversation, but we won’t. Let’s stay on track with the principles of neighboring and why we neighbor!

In the course of the dialogue between Jesus and the lawyer, with many onlookers I might add, the lawyer asks Jesus another question: “And who is my neighbor?” So Jesus responds with the parable of the Samaritan, known in our era as “The Good Samaritan.”

We discovered who the characters in the parable were last week, but today, I want to talk about the first one that comes into the picture after the poor man who has been robbed and beaten is left to die…on a very dangerous road: The Priest. 31Now, by chance (emphasis added) a certain priest came down the road and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

Let’s pause there for a few minutes. I don’t know about you, but the many times I have read this parable, I was sort of puffed up with an attitude of self-righteousness filled with quips like, “how dare he,” “how could he,” and of course, “why didn’t he…” until writing this study for our church and really studying the history behind it. See that is why studying history is so very important because unless we study it, we’ll repeat it! And we all know that many parts of our own history aren’t worth repeating!

Things are NEVER as they seem, and I found that to be true as I studied up a bit on the Priest, his role in society, a little about their culture, all of which have an important piece into this puzzle of this parable. In fact, I’d dare say these pieces are the framework for this parable. Here’s what I learned:
Exodus 28 reveals the Priest’s social status, which of course includes his clothing he must wear daily; Exodus 29 talks about sacrifices, all the do’s and don’ts and all the things a priest could not be around in order to be qualified to sacrifice.

Leviticus 21-22 reveals all the rules for the priests, included in those rules were do’s and don’ts for their conduct and contact: they were not allowed to be anywhere near a “defiled” person, a bleeding person, a handicapped person of any kind or they could not offer up a sacrifice!

To make a long history short…this guy, the Priest who walked on the other side did what he did because he was in bondage to the law. Why else did Jesus bring him into the story? How many of us are all bound up by do’s and don’ts, rigidity preached from the pulpit, that if we are struggling with weaknesses and worries, habits and hang-ups, we must not have enough faith, or be praying enough. I could go on, but let’s wrap this up.

How many times have we acted based only on our assumptions and not all the facts? I don’t know about you, but I’m raising my hands and feet in the air right now: GUILTY!  I was so guilty of being indignant about this Priest as I read this story yet again, and now, after studying it, I am humbled beyond belief. Who am I to judge the priest who is like one of us…held in bondage by something he/we believe to be greater than Jesus! The priest may have been bound by the law, but I was bound up by a judgmental attitude, a critical spirit of sorts. What has you bound up, preventing you from recognizing who your neighbor is, let alone how to neighbor?

I’m so thankful for my God-given hunger for truth that I would continue to learn that things are never as they seem and Jesus uses all things to teach us what we need to learn when we need to learn it.

Are you listening to learn or learning to listen?

Love,

Evinda

kim L